DESPITE claims by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) officials that all farmers in Shahapur taluka have given their consent to land acquisition proceedings for the Maharashtra Samruddhi Corridor, a group of farmers trooped to the the tehsildar’s office in a ‘jail bharo andolan’ on Thursday. “The officials have begun to believe that we have consented to hand over our land for the project. We had to show them that we are still as much against the land acquisition as before. If they have received consent, then who are these farmers?” asked Baban Harne, a farmer activist from Shahapur.
Around 300 farmers from the taluka marched from the local bus stand to the tehsildar’s office and submitted a list of demands. They then moved to the police station to get themselves arrested. They were detained and released shortly after. Of the 700-km Maharashtra Samruddhi Corridor from Nagpur to Mumbai, a stretch of 54 km passes through Shahapur taluka in Thane district. The farmers here have been protesting the impending acquisition of their land and have held several protests. However, three farmers from Shahapur handed over their land for the project on Saturday, at a ceremony attended by PWD Minister Eknath Shinde of the Shiv Sena.
“Of the three farmers who handed over their land, two are connected with political parties,” claimed Harne. “Instead of making these false claims, they should hold discussions with the farmers to know their perspective.”
According to MSRDC they have received consent from all affected farmers in Shahapur taluka.
Meanwhile, MSRDC began the land purchase for the project in Jalna and Lonar on Thursday. The farmers in these areas handed over their land in the presence of PWD minister Shinde and immediately received compensation from the state agency through RTGS.